Business English Vocabulary: Marketing


Today we’re going to go through some English marketing vocabulary. We’ll go through a few different definitions of some popular words and phrases that you might hear in a marketing department. This is of course nowhere near a comprehensive list! You might also want to check out part one of this series which was about  basic English office vocabulary.


A brand is like an identity for your company. It includes the logo, the colours that your business uses and the way the business talks to customers in its messaging.

In marketing, you have to look after the brand, promote it to potential customers and make sure everything the company does is in keeping with the brand.

The word ‘brand’ also means ‘to mark something’ and you can also brand cattle. A brand in a marketing context is not too different from this and acts as a stamp on everything the business does.


Often shortened to advert, an advertisement is any kind of message that a business uses to try and promote itself. You get adverts in all kinds of forms, including on television, in magazines, on the radio and all over the internet. Popular digital adverts include paid-for listings in search engines, banners on lots of different websites and adverts that play before videos on Youtube.

bench ad
We all see these ads around town. It's important where you promote your brand.



A marketing campaign is several activities based around a single theme that promotes a certain product or message. You get lots of different types of campaigns. Some of them promote new products, some of them are simply meant to promote the brand itself, some might be based around a competition and others might be advertising special deals that the company is running.


Brief can mean short or over quickly, but with marketing, a brief is something that outlines what you want from either and advert, a campaign or some other marketing project. The brief will include information about the sort of people you want to appeal to and the purpose of the project.


A demographic is a group of people that you are trying to target based on things like age, gender, wealth, nationality and levels of education. An example demographic would be 18-35 year old males, a popular demographic often targeted by the film industry. You can also get a “psychographic” which is a group of people based more on shared values, opinions and attitudes as opposed to more basic categories.

Return on Investment (ROI)

This is a phrase that is used a lot around marketing these days and refers to the amount of business generated for the amount of money spent on marketing. This is often used around campaigns, so if £100 is spent on something, it will only be considered to have a good ROI if more than £100 of business is generated by it.

Sometimes, you might hear people say that a campaign needs to “wash its face”. This means that it has earned as much as has been spent on it.

marketing investment
It's good to know how much you are investing a a product.



A workshop often means somewhere that you would build something, or fix a car, but in a marketing context, it is a session with a group of people who discuss ideas for a project. Another word you might hear related to workshops is “brainstorm”, which means to throw out lots of different ideas.

This only scratches the surface of the English marketing vocabulary used in your average marketing department and to make things interesting, new words and phrases get invented on a regular basis! If you’re interested in improving your language skills for your career, why not take a look at our business English courses and see if there’s something there for you?

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